The Manchester Free Press

Friday • October 20 • 2017

Vol.IX • No.XLII

Manchester, N.H.

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Ruminations of a New Hampshire Republican with decidedly libertarian leanings
Updated: 15 min 5 sec ago

Crickets

Sun, 2017-10-08 18:29 +0000

Hey, Lefties: Where Are Your Pussyhats Now?   Good question!

No group was more offended by Trump’s remarks, or so it seemed, than the newly minted Puritans of Hollywood. Celebrities went ballistic, firing off furious and anguished tweets about the Republican presidential candidate. Film producers, television actors, movie stars: everyone had something to say about Trump and many equated his remarks to sexual assault. 

Oh but that was so last year.

Now, here we are, one year later, and the New York Times just published a bombshell expose about one of Hollywood’s most powerful men, Harvey Weinstein. The lecherous behavior of this disgusting man is one of Hollywood’s worst-kept secrets; no doubt the Times could have an ongoing series of articles about this movie-making, sexual predator. Like many Hollywood moguls, Weinstein parlayed his fortune and influence into political power, becoming a major Democratic party donor and fundraiser. Since 1990, he has contributed more than $1 million to Democratic PACs, officeholders, and candidates, many of whom must have been aware of Weinstein’s reputation as a first-rate vulture.

[...]

The ire about the p*ssy tape never was about sexual harassment or women’s empowerment. It’s just liberal politics as usual.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Media Ignores Massive September Employment Growth

Fri, 2017-10-06 16:35 +0000

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the U.S. economy lost of 33,000 jobs in September according to its payroll survey, buts its household survey shows "Employed" went up by 906,000.  That's an astonishing number. 

In general, the media are focusing on decline in company payrolls and ignoring the household survey.  Under the headline "U.S. Sheds Jobs on Hurricane Loss, but Unemployment Falls" the Wall Street Journal highlights the 33,000 jobs reportedly lost in September.

The Labor Department Friday reported the first decline in U.S. nonfarm payrolls in seven years, suggesting the economy took a hit from hurricanes in Florida and Texas.

The "economy took a hit" but "unemployment falls."  How does that happen?  Easier than you might think.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics measures employment using two surveys, the payroll survey and the household survey.  The payroll survey counts the number of people on company payrolls as reported by the companies.  In the household survey, a households are queried as to the number of people in the household and how many are employed.  The household survey is generally considered more accurate because it takes self-employment into account and other forms of employment that might not show up on company payrolls.

So the Journal reported on the payroll survey for jobs numbers and on the household survey for the unemployment rate, but it said nothing about the jobs numbers as reported in the household survey.  The household survey numbers are strikingly at variance with the payroll survey numbers.  Take a look at the snapshot below taken from the Household Data in the BLS Employment Situation Summary Table.

The unemployment rate is calculated as the percentage of people considered to be in the civilian labor force who do not have paying jobs.  The civilian labor force number is a moving target because people who have given up looking for a job, even though they may be employable and not employed, are not considered to be in civilian labor force.  In September the civilian labor force grew by 575,000.  Some of this is attributed to workforce population growth of 205,000, but the larger number, 368,000, includes the number of people who have started looking for work again after having previously given up.  Scrolling down on the BLS Employment Situation page brings you to Frequently Asked Questions and this (boldface is mine):

1. Why are there two monthly measures of employment?

The household survey and establishment survey both produce sample-based estimates of employment, and both have strengths and limitations. The establishment survey employment series has a smaller margin of error on the measurement of month-to-month change than the household survey because of its much larger sample size. An over-the-month employment change of about 100,000 is statistically significant in the establishment survey, while the threshold for a statistically significant change in the household survey is about 500,000. However, the household survey has a more expansive scope than the establishment survey because it includes self-employed workers whose businesses are unincorporated, unpaid family workers, agricultural workers, and private household workers, who are excluded by the establishment survey. The household survey also provides estimates of employment for demographic groups. For more information on the differences between the two surveys, please visit https://www.bls.gov/web/empsit/ces_cps_trends.htm.

It's safe to say that 906,000 is a statistically significant change.  In order for the unemployment rate to go down, employment had to increase by more than 575,000, and it did.  It went up by an astonishing number.  Compare that to August where, if you do the arithmetic, the chart shows that "Employed" went down by 74,000.

What might account for a statistically significant change in the household survey?  One factor could be the business climate under the business friendlier Trump administration.  Another could be consumer confidence and general confidence which has seems to have gone up since Trump took office.  Improvements in technology and internet services might also have had an impact by making it easier for people to launch home based businesses.  And finally, the reduction in federal regulations may be making the prospects of joining the ranks of the self-employed less and less daunting.  Whatever, 906,000 is an astounding number.

What is not astonishing is the media's unwillingness to report it.  They just can't bear the thought of good news on Trump's watch.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Facebook's Fight Against Fake News -- Under Direction of Then-President Obama

Thu, 2017-09-28 10:53 +0000

Who would have guessed that it was at President Barack Obama's urging that Facebook disabled Libertarian Leanings ad account?  Connecting the dots here!

A Fox News report describes Embarrassment at The Washington Post over a story implying that Obama reached out to Mark Zuckerberg specifically about Russian Facebook ads in the 2016 election.  The truth is Obama did not mention Russia when he spoke to Zuckerberg, but he did want Facebook to filter out other "Fake News."

The Washington Post has made a correction to an explosive cover story that undermines the entire premise of Monday’s front-page article headlined, "Obama sought to prod Facebook on Russia role."

The problem, according to a Facebook executive, is that when Obama reached out to the social media giant in 2016 to discuss political disinformation spreading on the site, he didn’t actually call out Russia – essentially making the Post’s headline misleading and inaccurate. Or, as President Trump would call it, “fake news.”

As first reported by Axios, the Post added significant information to the digital version of the story with the disclaimer, “This story has been updated with an additional response from Facebook.” The response from Facebook that didn’t make the paper’s print edition is vital and changed the story enough that the word “Russia” was removed from the updated headline.

The story detailed how then-President Obama gave Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg a “wake-up call” regarding fake news spreading on his social media platform. After reporting that Obama “made a personal appeal to Zuckerberg to take the threat of fake news and political disinformation seriously," the paper has added that Obama “did not single out Russia specifically."

So far as I know, while Obama did not specifically single Russia, he did not single out out Libertarian Leanings either.  However, Facebook did respond to Obama's appeal, and it did disable Libertarian Leanings' Facebook ad account in the aftermath.  Yes, my friends, the opinions that I have shared on Libertarian Leanings are fake news according to Facebook.  

My story begins in February of 2015 when I created a Libertarian Leanings Facebook page with the objective of increasing the reach of the Libertarian Leanings blog.  One of Facebook's tools that I thought would help me do this is Facebook advertising.  For a small fee, my range was $5 to $20, Facebook would promote a Libertarian Leanings post by advertising it on the Facebook pages of an audience that I could target within a certain set of parameters.  Truth be told, the advertising didn't help much.  Most Facebook users never bothered to click through to the Libertarian Leanings article that I hoped to promote.  Be that as it may, that advertising tool is no longer available to Libertarian Leanings.

Libertarian Leanings apparently fell from favor shortly before the November 8th presidential election.  On the Friday, November 4th I published an essay on the Libertarian Leanings blog stating my intention to vote for Donald Trump and the reasons for my choice.  Simultaneously, a link to the essay was established on the Libertarian Leanings Facebook page.  I went to Facebook and clicked on the button "boost" the post.  My ad was accepted and I began to see increasing numbers of "people reached" by my Facebook entry.

Then, inexplicably, I received notification that my ad was rejected.  I appealed the rejection, asking why the ad was rejected.  I got a reply saying that after further review my ad was acceptable.  The display showing number of people reached resumed its upward progress, and for an added bonus the boost button offered me the opportunity to add to advertising budget and reach even more people.  I took it.  Wrong move.

Clicking on the boost button got the ad rejected again.  Here is the exchange between me and Facebook.

What you submitted Nov 4, 2016

Ad ID

6060171929831

Additional Information

I'd like to know specifically why the ad was rejected. What profanity should be removed? What viewers were harrassed, or whose racial, ethnic, or other attributes were disparaged? Our reply Nov 5, 2016 Hi Tom,

Thank you for notifying us about your ad disapproval.

We've reviewed your ad again and have determined it complies with our policies. Your ad is now approved.

Your ad is now active and will start delivering soon. You can track your results in Facebook Ads Manager.

Have a great day!

Did you find our support helpful? Please give us feedback

Thanks, Michael Facebook Ads Team >On Fri Nov 4, 2016 16:06:03, Tom Bowler wrote: >Ad ID : 6060171929831 >Additional Information : I'd like to know specifically why the ad was rejected. What profanity should be removed? What viewers were harrassed, or whose racial, ethnic, or other attributes were disparaged? > Your reply Nov 6, 2016 So now that you've reconsidered my ad and decided that it complies, and offered me the option to boost it, you've rejected the boost for the same reasons you rejected the original ad. Can you explain that to me?

Apparently, appealing the decision was no longer an option because the ad had been appealed once and then ultimately denied.

I was annoyed, but in the end I prevailed.  In spite of Facebook's efforts at blocking my message, I was able to get Donald Trump elected!  Of course, it's within the realm of possibility that other factors contributed to Trump's victory.  In any event, I didn't bother to pursue the issue of my rejected Facebook ad.

And then, on February 20, 2017 I received five identical emails from the Facebook ad team notifying me that my advertising account was disable

"Ad Account Disabled for Policy Violation
From Facebook Ads Team advertise-noreply@support.facebook.com              
Sent Mon, Feb 20, 2017 12:26 pm
To Tom Bowler [redacted]*

Header Ad Account Disabled for Policy Violation
Account Id: [redacted]*

Hi Tom,

Your ad account has been disabled for promoting ads which violate our Facebook Ad Guidelines.

Any ads you are running under the Ad Account ID listed above have been turned off. If you believe this has been a mistake, please contact us.

We also suggest reviewing our e-learning Blueprint module to better understand Facebook Ad Guidelines."

*Account Id redacted by the Libertarian Leanings security team

There was a button that said I could "Learn More."  The button took me a form where I could sign up to learn by providing my name and email address.  I decided I'd pass on the educational opportunity.  Five messages.  In case I missed the point.  I replied to one of them:

From: [redacted]*
To:
Subject: Policy Disabled Ad Account Help

Account Admin Name: Tom Bowler
Account Id: [redacted]*
Account Admin Email: [redacted]*
Is this your account?: Yes
Advertiser Account ID: 10152309798028414
Please provide information that will help us investigate: I haven't boosted any of my posts since November 4th when my boost was inexplicably rejected. I was never told why it was rejected, just as there is no indication why you are disabling my account at this time. I would like to know why, but only out of curiosity. I have no plans to spend money advertising on Facebook in the future.

*Account Id and email address redacted by the Libertarian Leanings security team

Oddly enough, later that afternoon I was given a reason that my original boost was rejected. And then rejected again after it was temporarily given a pass.

Your Ad Is Not Delivering
From Facebook notification+odv=ofg1@facebookmail.comhide details
Mon, Feb 20, 2017 5:26 pm
To Tom Bowler [redacted]*

Your Ad Is Not Delivering

Your ad's image contains too much text which is preventing delivery of your ad to your audience. Click any of the links below to manage your ad, and make changes to reduce the amount of text in your ad's image to fix this issue.

The following ad needs your attention (1) View Ads

Account: Tom Bowler Campaign: Post: "I will be voting for Donald Trump next Tuesday...."Ad Set: Post: "I will be voting for Donald Trump next Tuesday...."
Boosted Post: Post: "I will be voting for Donald Trump next Tuesday...."

Three days later, on February 23rd, I got a note from Mary of the Facebook Ad Team explaining nothing.

Facebook info+j3r1n1sa.aeaskwoqp4bua@support.facebook.com
Re: Policy Disabled Ad Account Help From Facebook info+j3r1n1sa.aeaskwoqp4bua@support.facebook.comhide details
Thu, Feb 23, 2017 7:25 am
To Tom Bowler [redacted]

Hi Tom,

Thanks for reaching out to us. Your account has been disabled for not following Facebook's Advertising Guidelines.

Ad accounts are evaluated for policy compliance and quality of ad content. When accounts have run ads that are not policy compliant, they are disabled.

Your account was disabled for running misleading ads that resulted in high negative feedback from people on Facebook. Our goal is to provide the highest quality user experience. We reserve the right to reject any advertising that we deem contrary to these objectives. Similarly, we reserve the right to close an account creating ads contrary to these objectives.

For this reason, if any of your ads have been removed or your ad account has been disabled, we will be unable to reactivate either. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Please consider this decision final.

Thanks for your understanding,

Mary
Facebook Ads Team
Facebook

I replied to Mary of the Facebook Ad Team:

-----Original Message----
From: Tom Bowler [redaced] To: Facebook
Subject: Re: Policy Disabled Ad Account Help   Hi Mary,
Thanks for your reply. Sadly, you have not answered my question. Specifically, why was my account disabled? To say that my ads were misleading provides no information. What ad? How was it misleading? What was the substance of the negative feedback?
I'm suspicious because the last thing I attempted to advertise on Facebook was a post explaining my vote for Donald Trump. The post was not so much a plug for Donald Trump as it was a slam of Hillary Clinton. That was November 4th. Then three months later you decide to disable my account. No advertising in the meantime.
Is this part of Facebook's crackdown on "fake news?" The sequence of events leads me to only wonder if it was my extremely negative view of Hillary Clinton that was considered "misleading" by the Facebook Ads Team. Undoubtedly there are some in the Facebook community who would find the appearance of so a negative view of Hillary Clinton on Facebook something less than "the highest quality user experience." Is that the real problem?
This is not an appeal of your decision to disable my account. When the ad for my November 4th post was rejected, I immediately decided that I had purchased advertising on Facebook for the last time. That decision is final.
That said, I would still like answers to my questions and I believe I deserve them. What ads were misleading? In what way were they misleading? What was the substance of the negative feedback?
Sincerely, Tom Bowler
  Mary from the Facebook Ad Team replied the next morning:  

Re: Policy Disabled Ad Account Help

From: Facebook info+j3r1n1sa.aeaskwoqp5kle@support.facebook.com
Fri, Feb 24, 2017 8:40 am
To: Tom Bowler [redacted]

Hi Tom,

After careful review, I’ve determined that we’re unable to take further action regarding this matter.

Thanks,

Mary
Facebook Ads Team
Facebook
  After careful review, no explanation -- none forthcoming, and none needed really.  Facebook's fight against Fake News was a transparent ploy to suppress conservative and libertarian viewpoints, or anything that might have negatively impacted Hillary's presidential aspirations.  This was exactly what President Obama was asking Zuckerberg to do.  And so the good folks at Facebook took action,but their effort failed.  While they might have limited the reach of Libertarian Leanings and others like me, they were unable to suppress Hillary.
Categories: Blogs, United States

Gold and Lord Rama - The Reason for the Diwali Season

Wed, 2017-09-20 13:19 +0000

The following article was written by Jp Cortez, assistant director at Sound Money Defense League.  It was originally published at www.soundmoneydefense.org.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

October 19, 2017 marks an important holiday in the Indian culture. Diwali begins. Diwali is one of the biggest festivals for Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains. It is a lavish celebration of the victory of light over darkness with its gleaming candles, luxurious works of art, and opulent feasts. Diwali is also characterized by gift giving. Buying and gifting gold is considered auspicious during Diwali.

Given the nature of the holiday and the number of people who celebrate it, according to CNBC, the past few years have seen a tendency for the gold price to rise around Diwali. Last year during Diwali, Mihir Kapadia, founder & CEO of Sun Global Investments, said “As heavy consumers, the festive seasons always tend to surge the demand, and considering the current low prices, this should increase the market activity and thus push the prices a little.” Kapadia continued, “We do not expect it to boost prices significantly as the overall market is subdued due to the worries about rising interest rates.”

There is no shortage of economic analysis during the buildup to this year’s celebration as The Economic Times reported “bullion has climbed almost 10 percent on the Indian market this year as world prices increased on… reduced chances of a further hike in U.S. interest rates in 2017.”

However, history shows that rising interest rates do not necessarily make bonds and cash more attractive or push the demand for (and therefore the price) gold down. Interest rate hikes are usually a gold bullish event.

“Gold prices going down after rate hikes is a myth propagated by the financial establishment and portfolio managers who may be intellectually lazy or have a vested interest in scaring people away from gold,” says Stefan Gleason, president of U.S. precious metals dealer Money Metals Exchange. "In reality, central banks are almost always behind the curve, and real interest rates may be going in the opposite direction despite the rate hikes." 

Slaying the Beast Takes Multiple Blows

Diwali is a grand, extravagant multi-day festival celebrating many things by many different groups of people. One of the more popular tales remembered and celebrated during Diwali is that of the brave Lord Rama. According to legend, he returned from exile after having saved his kidnapped wife and slayed the evil demon Ravanna.

This tale of glory and triumph evokes the sound money camp’s monetary hero, gold, facing the evil government and its minions, the “professionals” who often have a cynical bias against the yellow metal.

In the grand battle, Rama fights fiercely against Ravanna and his footmen. After a long and taxing battle, Rama delivers a blow that decapitates Ravanna’s central head. Unfortunately, another head appears in its place. Finally learning that Ravanna’s secret was an immortality nectar held in his stomach, Rama fired an arrow that finally laid Ravanna to rest.

Like Rama, gold finds itself fending off attacks from all sides. The federal government has been striking blows at gold since 1933, when Roosevelt banned all private possession of gold and required it be handed over in exchange for paper money. Gold has had all sorts of taxes levied against it. Gold and silver coins were stripped of their constitutional role as the only forms of money states could recognize as legal tender in payment of debts. Today, countless Wall Street types make a living trying to pierce the armor of gold in print and on television.

Fear not! It’s true that sound money’s lionhearted soldier hasn’t launched the fatal arrow that finally slays the fiat money system run by the world’s central bankers. But the battle is tipping further in the direction of our fearless hero every day.

States are taking the necessary steps to unshackle gold from its bureaucratic chains. 36 states across the union have an exemption against sales taxes being levied in precious metals purchases. Arizona has moved towards widespread acceptance of gold and silver by recognizing its legal tender status while removing capital gains taxes on precious metals holdings, with Wyoming, Idaho, and Tennessee not far behind. Texas is setting an example on how to shore up pension funds using gold, not to mention creating its own bullion depository.

Step by step, hard money forces are making advances. They still have a long way to go, of course. But they can draw inspiration from previous epic struggles against powerful foes.

During Diwali, millions of people around the world will celebrate the victory of their courageous and valiant hero, Lord Rama. Meanwhile, we can all celebrate gold’s continued ability to not only survive the onslaught coming from gold-cynics everywhere, but also to steadily re-establish itself as constitutional money.

Categories: Blogs, United States

To Limit And Control The News

Wed, 2017-07-05 13:18 +0000

One thing you can almost always count on:  When the liberal media accuses the conservatives of some unethical abuse of power, the abusive action is something liberals would do themselves, or something they've already done. 

Case in point is this sanctimonious Independence Day drivel from the Washington Post's Richard Cohen.  Cohen contends that Trump is causing harm to the news consuming public with his battles against the media.

Bradlee was on the mark. President Trump is not in a fight with CNN as depicted in the ludicrous video he tweeted Sunday in which he wrestles the cable news network -- or with the Times or the Post. This is not a struggle between the White House and some corporate behemoths, but a continuing, persistent and hugely unprecedented attempt by the government to limit and control what you can see or read. It's not about us. It's about you.

Funny that Cohen should bring up the now infamous video of Trump body slamming CNN in a wrestling bout.  Apparently The Donald picked up a video created and posted by a Reddit user, HanAssholeSolo, and retweeted it.  CNN did not take this lying down, tracking down the Reddit user and forcing him to apologize and take down the offending video by threatening to publish his identity.  The Conservative Treehouse made a screen grab of the threat.

In an article identifying the originating source of the wrestling gif tweeted last week by President Donald Trump, CNN says they’ll keep his name private so long as the person remains compliant to the media thought police.

The direct threat is: “CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change.”

This perfectly illustrates how suppression of the news works and who does it — almost always it's the media.  Oh sure, sometimes presidents ask news organizations to hold off on releasing a story.  The Bush administration tried to convince the New York Times not to print a story that revealed a secret program in which banks cooperated with government to track terrorist financing.  The Times said no to President Bush and published it anyway. When the media whine about Trump trying to control or suppress the news, remember that they are the ones who do it the most, sometimes resorting to blackmail to do it.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Tactical Tweeting

Mon, 2017-07-03 12:40 +0000

From the WSJ

President Trump is having a hard time getting legislation through Congress, but his Administration is moving fast to roll back Barack Obama’s pen-and-a-phone lawmaking. The latest example, which barely registered in the press, is the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision last week to rescind the unilateral rewrite of the Clean Water Act.

So, instead of screeching about the number of babies that are going to die because the EPA no longer regulates the puddle in your backyard, the press is focused like a laser on Trump's tweets.

Ya gotta love it. Trump forges ahead, dismantling the Obama legacy, and MFM barely notices. Consumed by tweets.

Categories: Blogs, United States

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